Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Random Act of Universal Love

Today a package arrived in the mail. I love getting mail. And this package was the best thing I have received in a very long time.

It was addressed to me. And the return address had my name with the words "Universal Love" underneath it.

I was intrigued to say the least.

When I opened it up I found a brand new copy of "The Alchemist" with a note.


The note said:
"Hello Kelly.
When I learned of this book on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday show a couple of months back I instantly thought of you and your journey to write a novel. In my own efforts to spread more love, compassion and kindness in this world I have decided to gift this book to you anonymously.
Kelly, your smile is contagious and lights up the room. Your beauty and strength are to be admired and is so evident in your two daughter's spirits. you are doing such an amazing job as a mother, provider and career woman.
Many blessing to you and your family.
Take care, you are never alone."

I cried. This wonderful act of kindness could not have come at a better time.

I have been feeling torn lately. Like I am trying to do too many things and I'm not doing any of them well. I had lost my focus...again.

This has helped me get it back. And showed me that I am not alone in believing in the power of positivity.

So thank you whoever you are for giving me that gift of focus.

By the way, not knowing who this came from is seriously killing me!  I have my suspicions as I figure it must be from someone that knows me well. Well enough to know my home address at the very least.

But I am going to leave this mystery alone...and take the gesture how it was intended.

Thank you friend. xoxo

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pink Shirt Day 2015

Today was Pink Shirt Day. And my girls were both very proud to put on their newly purchased (and slightly too big) Erase Bullying t-shirts for the cause.

There were a lot of social media posts going around today about how kids don't really understand what the day is all about. That we aren't doing a good enough job of educating them about why they are wearing pink.

So tonight at dinner I asked my girls to tell me why they wore pink shirts. They both said it was to remember to treat everyone the same. To be nice and kind and friendly. And to not call anyone stupid.

My oldest - in grade 3 - even knew the back story of the pink shirts. She told me all about the children that wore them to support a friend who was bullied.

And they both told me about activities that their school did to call attention to the cause and to ensure the children understood that this day was about more than just wearing pink.

I must admit I was pretty impressed. The message is penetrating. Our kids - well, at least my kids and I would think that is a good sample representation - do understand what this day is about. They know that bullying is wrong.

It's a start...and a pretty good one at that.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February Sun

Around the middle of February we start to get pretty damn sick of the grey here in the Pacific Northwest.  The gloom sets in and the mood in the city starts to match the weather.

And that's when we get a day - and if we are lucky - a stretch of days that are warm and sunny. Where we all emerge from our houses and embrace the beauty of our city again.

This Valentine's Day was one of those days. And it brought with it the return of bikes, sidewalk chalk, lacrosse sticks and flip flops. And dancing in the sun...

Our youngest is pretty stubborn when it comes to learning new things. The training wheels came off last summer and she still won't commit to learning to ride without them. Patience...


More than 10 years ago I bought this mini lacrosse stick for my husband for Christmas. Pretty cool that my kids are playing with it now.

We enjoyed the hell out of that day (and the few warm days that followed) to the max. Because we know the rain is coming back...eventually.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

One-on-One Time: So You Think You Can Dance Tour

I love getting to spend one-on-one time with my girls. It always seems like when they don't have their sibling around they open up and are just more...well...them.

So I was pretty excited when I bought my oldest daughter tickets to the So You Think You Can Dance Tour for Christmas. Because I knew that with the tickets would also come one-on-one time.

As the date approached M got more and more excited. She talked often about the dancers and what routines from the past season they might perform. She thought carefully about what to wear. Asked if we could bring binoculars and also some snacks.

Finally the day arrived and we set off for our date night.

We arrived at the restaurant and she was so excited to order her first "virgin margarita". Plus she didn't have to have vegetables with dinner! Could this night get any better?

During dinner she did all the talking. About school. About musical theatre class. About Star Wars. About Harry Potter.  And I was struck by the fact that she was a real person.

She had ideas and dreams she wanted to share with me. She had opinions on important issues...well things that were important to her at least.

It was a really awesome thing. To sit there and just chat with my daughter. And then it was time to walk to the theatre.  I say "walk" but she pretty much skipped/ran the whole way there. Her excitement was contagious!

The very nice lady I asked to take a picture of us wound up taking about 15 and this was the best one. Oh well...
 Our seats were awesome. There wasn't a super tall guy sitting in front of us (he was average height) and the show was A-MAY-ZING!

These people danced their hearts enjoyable.

And my daughter's face was like this the entire time:

This pictures sums it up better than anything I could have written.

And as we walked back to the car - her little hand (still so little!) nestled in mine - she thanked me for taking her. And for bringing snacks. And for letting her use the binoculars the whole time.

She gave my hand a squeeze and said "I love you mummy. This was the best night ever."

Kids really are full of surprises. After trying to act like a grown up all evening long...when it really counted she was my little girl again.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Puddle Jumping

Today was a stat holiday...Family Day. And it was a rainy, gray and dreary day.

Hubby was feeling under the weather so the girls and I spent most of the day playing board games and doing crafty things like updating their school scrapbooks.

Around 3pm we all felt the desperate need to escape the confines of the house. Rain be damned we were going to go and breathe some fresh air.

The girls put on their rain jackets and boots and off we went to jump in some puddles...and oh did they jump.


It was so much fun to watch them jumping...

You know...just a few months ago I never would have let them do this. I would have been thinking about the cleanup and the hassle.

I'm glad I'm not that same old fuddy duddy anymore...maybe next time I will jump in the puddles with them.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bedtime delays and future concerns...

I know I am not alone. That there are thousands of other parents dealing with "bedtime delay syndrome."  My 5 year old is an expert.

Her best skill is making it look as though she is absolutely fine with the fact that it's bedtime.  That she has no problem with closing her eyes and going to sleep. That she is looking forward to it actually...because it's been a long and tiring day.

But after the kisses and hugs and I Love You's have been exchanged. After she has been tucked in and provided with the chosen stuffie of the night along with pink blankie. After the door has been shut and we are finally sitting down to watch something on TV that is not animated or features a talking dolphin as the main character. After allowing enough time to make us think we are in the clear...the doorknob turns for the first time.

She usually starts with "I have to pee." And even though I know she just went I allow this. Because I really don't want to deal with the 3am accident call.

And then she's back in bed. 2 minutes later the door handle moves again.

Now she needs a drink of water. Forget the fact that this action completely negates her first out of bed activity...that is far too logical a thought for a 5 year old.

Then...she's back in bed.

Door handle movement #3. I need legs are itchy. Well she's got me there...she has eczema and I can't ignore this request.

Back to bed. Kisses. "No more getting out of bed okay?" "okay mummy...I promise."

Door handle number #4. Little liar....

My toenails are too long - can you cut them? There's a witch under my bed. I forgot to hang up my jacket. I missed you.

Take your pick because this excuse is always the lamest. And she knows it. I think she just tries because...why's tradition.

So after years of this pattern I'm pretty much done with the whole thing. I try to make sure all potential excuses are dealt with before bedtime...but it doesn't always happen. 

That's why she was able to catch me so off guard last week.  As I tucked her in I made a mental checklist. Pee? Check. Water? Check. Cream? Check. Toenails? Cut. Witch under the bed? Out for the night. Jacket? Hung. 

I was so confident that she would not be coming out that I actually made a cup of tea and sat on the couch with a contented sigh and turned on Netflix.

And then the doorknob turned.

"Mummy...I need to tell you something."

I exhaled loudly - clearly showing her my frustration - and headed into her room for what I was sure would be a question like - "why is the sky blue?" and instead found my little girl sobbing.

"Mummy...when I get older...and move out...I don't want to leave my pink blankie!"


I have no idea what brought it on...but my little love was truly inconsolable at the thought of having to live without her precious pink blankie. It took about 10 minutes of cuddling and reassurance and attempts at humour and distraction ("when you are an old lady you can wear pink blankie like a scarf!") to get her to stop crying.

Finally she calmed and I tucked her back in. Where she promptly threw the treasured pink blankie to the end of the bed, cuddled up with her bunny blankie instead and effectively dismissed me from her presence with an offhanded "good night mummy..."

Kids...they make no damn sense sometimes. Isn't it great?